A few thoughts on the government’s GP rescue plan announced today….firstly they are right to address crisis in this sector. Some good ideas including a new NHS covenant modeled on the military and more transparency about performance.
BUT, as someone who tried & failed to get 5000 more GPs into the system, I don’t think this package will turn the tide. We got 000s more graduates into GP surgeries, but we didn't make progress because experienced GPs were retiring/going part time faster than new trainees arrived
The lesson? This is a burnt-out workforce running on empty because of a massive mismatch between supply & demand. The only thing that will convince them not to continue retiring or opting for part-time hours in droves is a clear plan to end the unsustainable pressure they face.
Today’s report is most important my Select Committee has done. Taken over a year with lengthy evidence sessions (7 hours in the case of Dominic Cummings) but shows, I hope, parliament at its best as we deliver far reaching conclusions about our pandemic response…
Recommendations significant for 2 reasons: 1. unanimous agreement by 22 x-party MPs - as non-partisan as it’s possible to get. 2. Will be most comprehensive independent study ahead of public inquiry that may not publish for several years.
We conclude that our national response was a curate’s egg of disastrous mistakes and extraordinary genius. The first lockdown was too late & based on flawed scientific advice which should have been challenged earlier.
As health select committee chair most of the time I focus on holding the Govt to account on health. But occasionally opposition parties need to be called out too - never more so than today….
It’s outrageous that Lab & Lib Dems will vote against £12bn extra for the NHS & soc care after the year we’ve had. This is politicking of the worst kind because the crisis in the NHS & care system is real. Any wealth tax v unlikely to raise the sums needed for ageing population.
But even though it was tough for a Conservative PM & Chx to raise taxes, what comes next - turning money into results with proper reform - will be even tougher. Having dipped our hands into their pockets voters will be very angry if they don't see tangible improvements fast.
Lots of noise on social care and a possible new tax to pay for it...my thoughts in this thread.
It’s progress that the soc care debate has moved on from 'whether' to 'how.' This isn’t just because it wld breach the PM's words on the steps of Downing Street, but a growing realisation that with the Covid backlog we’ll never get the NHS back on its feet without soc care reform
Let's take as starting point the HSC report which said the sector needs min £7 bn annual raise in its budget over 4-5 years. This covers a cap, demographic changes and increases in the national living wage but not a big expansion of quality or eligibility committees.parliament.uk/work/136/socia…
Here’s an early take on our two bumper select committee grillings over the last two weeks - Dominic Cummings and Matt Hancock. A thread...
There was more melodrama than normal but it is not possible to stack up the most sensational revelations without evidence. Today's new @Dominic2306 tweets show the PM's total frustration ('f***ing useless' etc.) but do not prove anyone 'lied.'
Personal accusations are of course the most media-friendly but should not expose the much more serious failures in the functioning of the state in a national emergency, including key revelations about both scientific advice/herd immunity and test and trace.
Big news for the NHS that Sir Simon Stevens is stepping down. A thread...
When we recruited for a successor to Sir David Nicholson in 2013, there was a good deal of trepidation about the role following controversy over the 2012 Act. Simon, however, was the standout candidate and hiring him remains one of the best decisions I have ever taken.
Despite his time as a special adviser in No 10 and in the private sector in the US, SImon has always been NHS to his core. But neither he nor I knew just how bumpy things would become with immense operational and financial pressures across the NHS and social care system.
Upper estimates of this data suggest that around 36,000 cases in the first wave were caught this way which could mean 8,000 deaths related to hospital acquired COVID occurred in that wave: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9…
Deeply disappointed to hear UK govt is halving aid to Yemen. Timing is inexplicable with the UN warning only last week that Yemen faces the worst famine the world has seen for decades. In their words it is ‘falling off a cliff’. Thread...
In their appeal for MORE funding, the UN cited aid cuts from other countries last year which cut 4 million people off from food aid, who are now ‘in the long, slow, brutal, painful, agonizing process of starving to death’. washingtonpost.com/world/middle_e…
UNICEF say 2 million children are acutely malnourished and over 368,000 children under 5 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. 1.7million children are internally displaced. Only 1 in 3 people have access to running water. unicef.org.uk/donate/yemen/
Why lockdown isn’t working fast enough and what we should do next: a thread..... Not just borders and monitoring new strains, but time to fix the biggest flaw in our current strategy, namely that three quarters of those with symptoms do not self-isolate.
6.3 million have had their first jab, infections are down 22% (7 day avg) & hospital patients 4% below Jan 18 peak. So why should we be cautious? hsj.co.uk/coronavirus/25…
The answer is uncertainty over new strains: whilst vaccine seems to work as well against UK/Kent strain, this may not be the case with the S African strain (already here) and the Brazilian strains (one of which is already here but not yet the Manaus one): reuters.com/article/uk-hea…
As soon as the government officially moves us to the ‘delay’ stage, it is effectively confirming that an epidemic IS coming. So on the basis of the information we currently have, what's the outlook?
Yesterday was the first day confirmed new cases in the UK exceeded those in China (67 in the UK vs 40 in China). Last week Chris Whitty told the select committee he saw ‘no reason in theory why the UK would go higher than China.’ So how bad did it get in China?
Chris Whitty used a figure of 20% of population in Wuhan province when he came in front of the select committee, but says those with symptoms are likely to be 5% or less. WHO figures are lower - only 0.1% of population - but there is likely to be significant under-reporting.
1/4 I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team. BJ kindly offered me another role but after 9 yrs in Cabinet & over 300 cab mtgs now is the time to return 2 backbenches from where PM will have my full support
2/4 I've been a cabinet minister for every hour my 3 gorgeous children have been alive. So whilst it may seem strange for someone who just tried to become PM (& is a terrible cliche) I have decided now is the time for the biggest challenge of all - to be a GOOD DAD!
3/4 It has been a huge honour 2 be responsible 4 the finest diplomatic service in the world & 2 see the courage & wisdom of our diplomats & intelligence services. Thanks 4 guiding me with such patience & professionalism! Proud to have stood up alongside you for British values.
Handing over to my team now for live updates from my launch event
.@PennyMordaunt: My name will be on Jeremy Hunt's nomination papers today. Because I believe he has the experience, values and a plan.
Our failure to deliver Brexit has put our country and our party in grave peril. The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth: without Brexit there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party.